Everything was planned around straightening my naturally curly hair.
…So on and so forth for the majority of my life.
Why, though? Where did I learn that my naturally curly hair was unattractive? Insert my young, impressionable heartstrings influenced by the media, and junior high school boys. Yep, I went there, you little punks. I was so ridiculously consumed by other people’s standards of beauty that I lost my natural self in it. I know you ladies (and even a few of you dudes) can relate.
You see, my issue with seeing myself as beautiful wasn’t because of the media and boys, it stemmed from something much deeper. I had forgotten about the Truth: I was created in the image of my Creator, God. I am a reflection of Him. I am beautiful in my natural state, just as I am.
This my friends, isn’t just some frilly-la-la statement. This is TRUTH. Genesis 1:27 says “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
Do you notice how the Bible says that phrase three times? I actually just noticed that myself. I did some digging and found that the number three represents that which is solid, real, substantial, and something in its completeness. Additionally, the number three operates as a signal for the reader to pay attention, and even more so, to pay attention to what was coming up next…
The chapter goes on to say in Genesis 1:31 that “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
God, the Creator of the universe, of all the jaw-dropping wonders of this world, calls us, his creation, not just good, but very good.
So, now that I know the Truth of God’s Word about myself, I eventually became more comfortable with the way God created me. You’ll see me rockin’ my natural curls on the daily and with confidence.
Take this with you today and check yourself. Ask God to bring to your mind something that you see as unattractive or an imperfection. And through His words in Genesis 1, I pray that you see yourself as God sees you, as very good.
"Are you for real? Okay. Well, I’m about to throw all yo clothes out the window."
Have you ever been so frustrated with someone because you knew they were in the wrong? Have you ever paced the ground, contemplated breaking things, but then didn’t because you’d have to fix or buy another one of that thing you might have broken? Maybe call that someone, shout some obscenities and then just hang up?
Oh, just me then? Well, that was today. #WifeLife #NotTheCookieCutterKind
Ooh child, I prayed so hard. I like, angrily prayed at God. When I was done I just threw my hands up and said “That’s all I got.” After that, I reached out to a girlfriend who loves God, respects her husband, and will keep it real with me. I didn’t throw clothes out of the window, break anything, or shout obscenities (this time, anyway). But my mind was made up. My husband was in the doghouse.
I’ve learned (the hard way) that those actions won’t change a thing. And even more so, they won’t change my husband. And even MOST so, I can’t change my husband. I have concluded that I have no choice BUT to throw my hands up and allow God, through His Holy Spirit, to convict my husband’s heart. Every time I try to be the Holy Spirit, I put myself in the doghouse. I’ve decided it’s best to let God be God and stick to what I am- the wife, the helpmate, the bride.
No, not the damsel in distress. The WIFE. A woman of noble character, who brings good to her husband and not harm, who is clothed in strength and dignity, who speaks with wisdom, who respects her husband, and honors God by doing so.
THIS, my friends, takes guts.
We can choose to control and manipulate our marriage and fail miserably, or we can put on a pair of big girl panties and do what takes guts.
Today, I chose the latter and got to treasure what God can do for my marriage when I relinquish control of the situation and keep my dignity.
Tonight, I will rest peacefully in the arms of my husband, a man who allows God to work in His heart, and who will love me for letting God do what only He can for him.
Any moment now, you’re about to BURST.
You find solitude in the bathroom to escape your reality and compose yourself. Your reality- a circumstance in which you’ve lost hope, trust that has been shattered, or words that pierced your heart to the core. You crouch down, grab a tissue and silently weep. In this place you are weak, broken, and hopeless. “I can’t do this anymore” and “I feel so alone,” are phrases like old friends, all too familiar visiting your mind again. You are overcome.
As you wipe the tears from your face, dry your eyes, and look in the mirror…
I pray with every ounce of my being you see hope.
There is someone who knew you before you were knit together in your mother’s womb. Who cares enough to know the number of hairs on your head, who gave your life purpose. He knows the innermost desires of your heart before you even utter them. He works all things together for the good of those who love Him. Who loves you deeper than the oceans waters and has grace wider than the oceans borders.
He, who even though we fall short, are not good enough, screwed up, and have hit rock bottom, says to us: YOU are enough, YOU have worth, YOU have value. He has created you for something far greater than you can ever dream or imagine. When we pray for something and the answer is not what we wanted, it’s because we don’t see the whole story like He does. If we did, we’d want the answer He gave us.
He is all-knowing and THE most powerful force we could fathom. Darkness trembles at His name, our problems tremble at His name. He is Jesus- who loves you, forgives you, and sees you as His own.
As you wipe the tears from your face, dry your eyes, and look in the mirror…
I pray you see HOPE in the reflection of yourself, a human being created in God’s own image. This is the everlasting hope that sustains me each day, and each moment- Jesus.
A lesson I’ve learned far too well recently:
Just because I have a voice doesn’t mean I have to speak.
Please, get in line behind me on this:
I talk too much.
I overstate my opinion.
I want all of the attention focused on me.
Now that we’ve established that I am the foremost culprit on the matter of such attractive qualities, allow me to explain how I’m learning to combat them.
I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and came across a post of a photo a day to go along with being a Proverbs 31 woman.
What is a Proverbs 31 woman? Let me break it down for ya.
Any Christian woman will tell you that the ultimate goal of her womanhood is to become a Proverbs 31 woman. If you haven’t read this, read it HERE. She’s the ultimate woman; Mother Theresa, Oprah Winfrey, Princess Diana, Wonder Woman, Bettie Crocker, Esther, Mary mother of Jesus. It is THE description of an ideal woman, or wife.
Here’s the photo and caption I came across on my feed.
Proverbs 31:26 says, “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Another translation is “When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.”
Basically, I just need to shut up until I have something worthwhile to say. But how do I know when it’s worthwhile? I ask God. Before I speak, I search my heart, and ask God through his Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts and words before I open my mouth. Ephesians 4:29 says “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.”
Before I speak, I ask God questions like; “God, what would you want me to say or do?” and “Will this edify the other person?”
No weird religious chants, just asking God if my thoughts should come out of my mouth. If so, I’ll have a peace about it and speak. If not, I dismiss it. But DANG, dismissing something I want to say but shouldn’t say ain’t easy. *Abruptly turns head to the side, eyes widen, flares nostrils.*
This is going to take loads of practice and I’m aware of my issue with words. Are you?
A Latin phrase on an ancient coat of arms speaks to the tension of image management. Esse quam videri means “to be rather than to appear to be,” and those words resonate with my spirit. I don’t want there to be a gap between what I am and what I portray.L. Witt author of Replenish: Leading from a Healthy Soul
Mavis Beacon, I can do this.
It’s been many moons since I’ve sat before the great blank white page to write. In short; a new job, engagement, wedding, new home, marriage, newer job, and then I remembered that writing is something I enjoy.
For months I’ve been allowing my tunnel vision to dictate my desires. In a fit of frustration and emptiness, I told the Lord “If this is all you’ve got, I’m done.”
Problem #1: I told the Lord.
Whenever I tell God anything out of aggravation, he surfaces the root issue.
My mother always told me that when I was in her womb, she felt the Lord say that I was set apart for God’s ministry. Well, if I’m set a part, when is it going to be my turn? When is God going to do something with me? When will someone speak over my life and tell me that God told them that I’m going to do something great?!
Ugh, it felt like “…and none for Gretchen Wieners.”
Problem #2: I was waiting for someone else to speak over my life.
You know when someone looks at you and asks “what’s wrong?” and you just start crying? Tim, my husband asked me that and BAM, the try-to-salvage-the-makeup-ugly-cry emerged. (Go ahead, reenact that cry as you continue reading.)
Then he asked “If you could do anything in the world right now, what would it be?”
After circles of processing out loud, I gave my answer.
BIRTH our children.
WRITE a blog-turned-book.
SPEAK to inspire women.
ADVOCATE for anti-human trafficking.
If I believe I serve a God who does exceedingly abundantly far beyond anything I could ask for or imagine, and he put these desires in my heart, and knows how my spirit stirs with a Tazmanian Devil-type passion for these things… then God WILL see it come to pass. He WILL replace my limitations with his limitless. He WILL give me favor, hope and determination to see it come into fruition.
A friend of mine told me,
“God must love you so much, I mean, look at the husband he gave you!”
Pause. Glare. Where are you going with this? Hoops out if need be.
Disclaimer: I love, honor, and respect my husband. With that being said, I’m a strong Puerto Rican, Mexican, God-fearing woman as an individual.
“Your husband has to be comfortable in his own skin for what God is going to do through you.”
Ah, the breath of life that flowed through me and rejuvenated my spirit from that statement.
Here’s to my first entry *pours some out for the homies*. My declaration that God will see my desires come to pass and He will do a great work through me.
And so I ask you, what have you told God lately? Are you waiting for someone else to speak over your life? And lastly, if you could do anything in the world, what would it be?